Tag Archives: travel

Pedrata Lyon view 3

Pedrata’s Take on Lyon

Pedrata portraitThat’s me, Pedrata. I’m a rat. A Mexican rat.

Why Mexican?

Because I came from Mexico. On a boat.

All the way to Hawaii from Mexico. On a boat.

Darn tootin’ that was fun!!!

But I’m not just any rat. I’m a rat who loves to travel, a bit like my gal pal, Sj. We two females love to travel. Si!, I’m female. If I were male, I’d be PedratO, but I’m not, I’m PedratA.

I enjoyed Lyon. To da max. Here are some of my fav memories.


✷ Pedrata ✷

p.s. for whatever reason, these 4 pix didn’t want to be part of they gallery . . . so they’re here all by their lonesome. : )

And especially a concert . . .

And especially a concert . . .

Pedrata at flea market

I’m not sure why Sj bought this old briefcase for all of 4 Euros.

Pedrata Penguin 2

had so much fun together !!!

Pedrata wall art 1

Hmm . . .

Pedrata Flight Route

How a Rat Finds Its Way to Paris

Sj et Pedrata out . . . for now. ;-)

Pedrata in LAX

On our way!

: )

Pedrata in KORE hat

Getting ready!

More to come . . .

La Cruz harbor

Life aboard Kalewa in La Cruz

West of Puerta Vallarta . . .

Gracias Tones for these wonderful pictures!!!

If you’d like to check out Sayulita, go for it!

And while you’re at it, visit Puerta Vallarta. We’re heading there in just a bit. The guys want to eat at Gaby’s Restaurant too! Plan is to watch a movie on the white wall opposite the restaurant. In the neighborhood? Come join us!

+Sj out

Captain Kevin, aka Kalewa's KING !!!

Sj and T’s FIRST ever Pacific ocean crossing


“SI!” Tony and I replied when Kevin and Marisela invited us to join them on their return trip to Kauai aboard their one-of-a-kind, original (can you say MAGNIFIQUE?!!) boat KALEWA — designed and built by Kevin.

Invitations like these don’t come every day!

From where to where? you ask.

Puerta Vallarta, Mexico to Nawiliwili, Kauai.



But how can you make a post when you’re underway?

We’re not yet. There are a few details to take care of. Parts needed for this and that. And, most importantly, cousins to visit with!!!

I’ve been speaking a sloppy mix of French, Spanish, and German. BUT I made a promise to Flavio, Marisela’s cousin who’s a Biology teacher and gynecologist, that I’ll know Spanish by the next time we meet up. Yup, that’s my goal!!! Hablar con mia en espanol next time you see me. I most likely will make a mess of my reply, but I’ll give it my ALL, that’s for darn tooting!

Kay den, without further ado, below are pictures that fablisio Tony Baloney has taken so far . . .

Monday, December 19th, we celebrated Susan's Mom's 80th Birthday by going to Krefeld, their ancestoral town.

The Mother Chronicles 3 of 3

To Krefeld we go, the Stadtarchivs we go . . . hi-ho the dairy oh, to Krefeld we go!

Then it was time to get serious!

With our armor on (in the form of head gear), we set forth to Krefeld . . .


After our strenuous search in the Krefeld archives . . .

ends up our ancestors left the year BEFORE the archives were started! LOL What the heck, we had fun poking around anyway!

. . . we buckled down to celebrate my Mom’s 80th birthday!!! Yahoo! Happy Birthday Mom!

And . . . Happy Mother’s Day Mom as well as all you other Mom’s out there!

(including those with furry children ;-)


***Footnote: I feel compelled to write of the Sinti and Roma people. They were gypsies who tracked down and killed by the National Socialist Party (or Nazi Party). There’s a detailed site in German which discusses the small bronze figure, “Ehra oder Kind mit Ball,” by Otto Pankok which was completed in 1955 to represent the Sinti and Roma; it’s located on the Rhine promenade in the old city near the Film museum.

+Sj out

. . . where mom cleans us up in gin rummy! Stay tuned . . .

The Mother Chronicles 2 of 3

From Nürnberg to Düsseldorf — with a card shark !!!

After a couple of days wandering around in Nuremberg, it was time to head to our ancestors’ old stomping grounds near Düsseldorf: North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.

We had the good fortune of arranging a home exchange in Düsseldorf’s hip MediaHarbor district (oder MedienHafen). Mom was a good sport about the apartment with a view being a walk-up.

First stop? The pad for a round of cards!

A final stroll down the Rhine.

The Mother Chronicles 1 of 3

Mom arrives at the Nuremberg airport !

(oder Nürnberg auf Deutsch : )

In honor of Mother’s Day 2014, I decided to post these three entries called “The Mother Chronicles.” From my preceding post, you can learn the why and what fors.

Looking back on this now, I realize (even more : ) how darn lucky we were to be able to take this trip together. That we had the time, the funds, the place to stay, the health, the gumption . . . I could go on and on (but I  won’t : ).

Danke, mahalo, merci, grazie, gracias, aw kohn . . . suffices for now.

So without further ado, here are shots from the first part of our trip together (after a brief visit to my sister’s for Thanksgiving in Pittsburgh) in Nürnberg, Germany — home of the infamous Weihnachtsmarkt, as well as many other things . . .


Carnival southwestern Germany style!

Germany 2012 comes to a close . . .

Bringing Things Full Circle

Part of the impetus of this trip was to explore the tiny town of Krefeld, Germany with my Mother.

Why Krefeld?

In 1684, Paul Kuster, an ancestor on my maternal grandfather’s side, left that area of Germany (near the Rhine river) for the “free world.” One of thirteen families, the Kusters were part of the original emigrants to Pennsylviana, best known as Pennsylvania Dutch. Why Pennsylvania Dutch and not Pennsylvania German? Not sure. I googled it and found a site with a l o n g explanation of all the why and what-fores. All I DO know is that my grandfather fought for the United States in World War I and did not want to be associated with Germans at all!

How would he feel about his youngest granddaughter becoming enamored with the German language? No idea. He died when I was 6-months old.

My hostess during this final phase of my solo-trip found me through homeexchange.com. She wanted to visit Kauai and accessed the site through her girlfriend in Freiburg who was a member (and who btw has this lovely family you’ll see in the pix below : ).

“Krefeld?” my new friend thought, “Who wants to visit Krefeld????”

Incredulous that someone wanted to visit this tiny town near the border of the Netherlands, she contacted me anyway. One thing led to another, and in December 2011, my mother, husband, and I found ourselves in her COOL apartment in the Median district of Düsseldorf.

If you want to experience the Mother Chronicles, visit: the next couple of posts. : )))

So . . . at the end of my solo-trip, I found myself staying with and getting to know this incredible woman who I met through exchanging homes!!!  A woman who shared her apartment in Düsseldorf, just minutes away from our ancestors old stomping grounds, making it possible for my Mom to have an 80th birthday celebration full of dreams fulfilled.  Lucky us!

Thanks Christiane for your generosity and hospitality!!!

German Lessons Via Skype

Sj with her Mother making dreams come true. : )